Deputy Thomas Munzert from the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office was nominated for the 2018 New York State Police Officer of the Year Award.
Munzert responded to a crash on July 15, 2017, in the town of Arcadia that involved an overturned car in a pond. Without safety equipment, he entered the pond and pulled the driver to safety from the submerged vehicle.
Earlier this year, state Sen. Pam Helming, R-54th District, presented Munzert with the New York Senate Liberty Medal, the highest award the state Senate can give an individual.
“The Wayne County Sheriff’s Office mission statement reads, in part, that deputies are called upon ‘to anticipate and respond to events which threaten public order and the protection of life and property,’ and to ‘act not for themselves, but for the good of the public.’ That sums up precisely and eloquently what Deputy Munzert did last year,” Helming said. “He upheld these ideals to the highest degree. Deputy Munzert is truly a hero who demonstrates great courage and diligence not just in this moment, but throughout his career. He continually devotes himself to public service, and to the care and welfare of the citizens he is tasked with serving and protecting.
“When someone demonstrates the true meaning of being a hero — as Deputy Munzert did that day — they deserve commendation for their actions. That is why I consider it a privilege to honor Deputy Munzert for his courageous and meritorious actions with the Liberty Medal. It is equally a pleasure to announce him as a nominee for the New York State Police Officer of the Year Award.”
The award recognizes a single police officer or team of officers for an exceptional act of valor symbolizing the service of police in the state. The medal goes to individuals who earned special commendation for exceptional, heroic or humanitarian acts on behalf of their fellow New Yorkers.
“Deputy Munzert’s quick assessment of this serious incident and his immediate courageous action saved the life of the driver, who was still in the overturned vehicle,” Sheriff Barry Virts said. “His action is a reflection of our deputy sheriffs’ and all law enforcement’s dedication to public safety.”
Six members of the Yonkers Police Department earned this year’s award. The officers were honored for their apprehension of a gunman who shot one of them in the face at point-blank range on Sept. 25, 2017. Munzert was one of 14 officers from seven other agencies to be nominated for the award. He and the other nominees will receive a certificate of exceptional valor.